- Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 12:00PM - 1:30PM
- Open To The Public
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Meredith Whittaker will discuss AI, corporate power, and structural obscurity, looking particularly at marginalization and discriminatory cultures within the AI field, and threats to critical research and knowledge production on AI more broadly. A robust understanding of both the capabilities and designs of AI systems, and the larger social and historical structures within which these systems are developed and deployed constitute foundations on which meaningful accountability, regulatory intervention, and democratic oversight rely. However, even as the calls for reform and accountability are growing, we're seeing critical voices pushed out of the AI field, and very little movement to open the corporate-dominated AI industry to examination and scrutiny.
Meredith Whittaker is the Minderoo Research Professor at New York University and the founder of Google’s Open Research group and co-founder of the AI Now Institute. Her research and advocacy focus on the social implications of artificial intelligence and the tech industry responsible for it, with a particular emphasis on power and the political economy driving the commercialization of computational technology. Prior to NYU, she worked at Google for over a decade, where she led product and engineering teams, founded Google’s Open Research Group, and co-founded M-Lab, a globally distributed network measurement platform that now provides the world’s largest source of open data on internet performance. She also worked extensively on issues of privacy and security, helping provide funding, strategy, and support for efforts dedicated to providing privacy from governments and large tech corporations. As a long-time tech worker, she also helped lead labor organizing at Google. She was one of the core organizers pushing back against Google’s military contracts, the company’s insufficient response to concerns about AI and its harms, and was a central organizer of the Google Walkout. She continues to work in solidarity with organizers in tech, driven by the belief that worker power and collective action are necessary to ensure meaningful tech accountability, especially in the context of concentrated industrial power. She has advised the White House, the FCC, the City of New York, the European Parliament, and many other governments and civil society organizations on artificial intelligence, internet policy, measurement, privacy, and security. For dial-in information, please contact Natasha.Rentas@yale.edu.